New Jersey contact tracer celebrates her first complete trace call after six months on the job

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TRENTON, NJ – Jill, a COVID-19 contact tracer who was hired by the State of New Jersey six months ago celebrated her first successful complete contact tracing call with a live human after 45,384 unsuccessful prior attempts.   Of those 45,484 calls, Jill said 45,483 people have hung up on her.

“There was this one time where my line rang and I was talking to somebody for about three minutes before I realized it was just an automated solar panel service robocall,” Jill said. “But on Friday afternoon, at 3:20 pm, it was the real deal.”

The call center went silent as it has been 27 days since anyone in the center had spoken to a live person.

“I want to thank Mary, a 95-year-old from Bayonne for answering all my questions and allowing me to log the first real phone call for December,” Jill said. “Mary was able to tell me where she was, what she had for breakfast, the latest episode of Magnum P.I. she watched on MeTV, what size underwear her late husband Ted wore and what she had for lunch last Thursday at the nursing home where she currently lives.”

Jill said Mary kept calling her Cindy, who she later found out was her daughter who lives with her husband Jake and three children in Cleveland and asked her repeatedly when she’s going come back and see her again.

“All in all it was a success and I went home at the end of a long week knowing I did my part as a front line warrior in the battle against COVID-19,” Jill said.

The call center erupted in a loud round of applause after Jill hung up with Mary and logged a successful contract trace into the database.


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